How The Restaurant Industry is Impacted by the Immigration Debate

How The Restaurant Industry is Impacted by the Immigration Debate

To say the immigration topic in the United States is complicated, is an understatement.

Most recently, the national conversation around the subject has been a heated one arising from President Donald Trump’s efforts to shut down the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects and provides benefits to Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States as undocumented children, under the premise that it was unconstitutional.

According to advocacy group New American Economy, out of this segment of the population, which amounts to 700,000 immigrants who are currently protected under the DACA program, almost 19 percent hold an occupation in the restaurant or food service sector, as reported by “CNBC.”

Based on census data from 2011 through 2015, New American Economy estimated that the top three occupations by DACA-eligible workers include cashiers (6.5 percent), waiters and waitresses (4.9 percent), and chefs and cooks (4.6 percent). The statistics from the report indicate that the hospitality industry would be the hardest hit if the program was to be no more.

Read More

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad and Others in Foodservice Voicing Support for Immigrant Workers

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad and Others in Foodservice Voicing Support for Immigrant Workers

By Mae Velasco, Associate Editor

The saying goes to never mix business and politics, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain neutral in the restaurant business — especially because it is the business of people and a business founded on hospitality and diverse cuisines.

We’ve seen political involvement backfire in the case of Grubhub’s stock dropping after CEO Matt Maloney released a message against Trump, and we’ve seen others rise and come together, like in the case of nearly 100 D.C. restaurants during Inauguration that committed to donating toward causes that could be at risk by Trump’s administration.

And if the saying is to never bring up politics at the dinner table, then when it comes to the debate on immigration policies, you’ll often find that both sides will choose to sit at very, very opposite ends of the dinner table.

Read More

MarketShare Offers Immigrants a Path to Culinary Success

MarketShare Training Program  | Facebook

MarketShare Training Program | Facebook

Innovative Seattle program, MarketShare, has been successfully working to help immigrants and refugees succeed in the city’s food industry and open their own mobile food businesses.  Founder Philip Deng first conceptualized the idea for MarketShare after spending several years abroad living and working in China.  Seeing how the Chinese street food markets operated by offering not just food but also a sense of community to each city, Deng sought to bring this concept to Seattle.

Yet Deng didn’t stop there and in addition to bringing Seattle a street food market concept, he simultaneously sought to help out the city’s immigrant population by offering them a road to open and operate their own mobile food businesses.   Through developing MarketShare, Deng has been able to offer Seattle’s immigrant community a mentorship program that guides hopeful restaurant owners through food processing certifications and licensing as well as offers practical training through catering events. 

MarketShare also provides the chefs a location in which to initially begin operating out of and once successful, each chef is given the ability to earn their own equipment and make enough money to eventually open their own food truck or brick and mortar restaurant.  If successful, each candidate would work to pay MarketShare back for the tools and equipment, but if not MarketShare takes the loss. 

The first two candidates, Jackie Nikirote and Rosario Carver, have completed the program and are now set to launch their business concepts this year, with Carver planning to feature a menu of classic Filipino food and Nikirote preparing Kenyan family style meals.   

What impact do you think MarketShare will have on Seattle’s culinary scene?  Read More